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Trader Talk: An Analysis of the Markets

European and US shares rose on Tuesday amid increasing consumer confidence in the euro zone, and due to high activity in mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical sector.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index which includes top European shares closed 1.3 percent higher after the European Commission published data which showed that euro zone consumer confidence rose more than expected in April.

The STOXX Europe 600 health care index rose 2.9 percent as Shares in AstraZeneca surged 4.7 percent as speculation intensified about a bid approach from Pfizer worth GBP 60billion.

GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis shares were up 5.2 percent and 2.3 percent respectively after GSK agreed to sell its oncology products to Novartis for $14.5 billion, while buying the Swiss firm’s vaccines, excluding flu related products. The two companies traded over $20 billion worth of assets in an effort to cope with healthcare spending cuts and generic competition. U.S.-listed shares of Novartis (NVS.N) gained 1.3 percent to $85.56, while Glaxo (GSK.N) advanced 4.1 percent to $55.30.

Similarly U.S equity prices increased for a sixth consecutive day, as health-care related equities rallied amid a $45.7 billion bid for Allergan Inc. by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and as earnings from Netflix (NFLX) Inc. to Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) topped estimates.

The S&P 500 jumped 3.5 percent in the past six days and is now 0.6 percent below the record figure reached on April 2. The index has added 1.7 percent in 2014.

Japanese shares ended lower as the markets were unable to consolidate gains achieved in previous days. The decline in performance can be attributed to the cautious outlook to upcoming Japanese corporate earnings reports and tensions in Ukraine. Nikkei index closed 0.9 percent lower.

The MSE index closed at 3515.355 yesterday, 0.308 percent lower than the previous close of 3526.20. This brought an end to five days of consecutive increases. A total of 68 trades were affected with a total of 784,750 shares being traded for a global sum of €918,068.14 and USD3,349.32 respectively.

BOV shares ended the session at a price of €2.369, a drop in price of €0.001. HSBC shares fell by 0.84 percent ending the session at a price of €2.36, €0.020 short from the previous close. MIA also had a dip in price, ending the session at €2.24.

Malita Investments plc closed at €0.55, a 1.9% increase. IHI traded 5500 shares, closing at €0.839, a rise in price of 1.1%. RS2 shares fell 0.1% to €2.418 while GO fell to €1.999.

The Calamatta Cuschieri Traders Blog is available daily on CC WebTrader. Other market coverage including coverage of the International Bond Markets is also available.

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